Life, sketchbook, Work

Nobody but you, reminds the anteater

This was drawn some years ago…in the early confusion of a new role. It’s quite common when you’re in a situation like that, to not know what to do – the challenges are new and how should you be in the role is also unclear.

It’s ok to ask mentors and advisors but ultimately it’s you yourself who has to identify the goals, figure out the next steps and take decisions. Of course I know all this now…

Good thing I had the anteater to keep me grounded.

And in the end it’s nobody but you…

What did Buko say – listen or read

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Life, sketchbook

That practice of hugging

My sister and I were utterly confused about this practice of hugging for most of our life. We had many questions. We grew up in Kolkata where no one knew about hugs. And why would we…

Transcript: We the Basu sisters were so alient to the concept of hugging. And why would we? Who would want to hug hot sweaty Bengalis all the time? And then how close is close? I mean does “close” have to be reciprocated in distance? What if someone thinks they are closer than you think you are…
And then which body part do you hug? I have no choice but to hug tummies, being super short.
But when I met this boy, who really enjoys hugging, and this little thunderstorm who is a bony little hugger, I had to tolerate it sometimes. But apart from these two, I am hugely grateful to social isolation. No more random social hugs! As my friend Toinks says “Do namaste instead”!

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Life, sketchbook

Lockdown diaries

Like most people who draw/sketch I filled up a lot of my time drawing.

Here are my sketchbooks from 2020. The red one is from Jan-Feb, when I wasn’t drawing at all, and I started the green one when lockdown started in March.

Things were of course very worrying and unsettling…

But did you know that these stages are not linear? I was so grateful for being able to work from home, having my favorite people around me and countless other things, when so many around us were suffering…

Anyway the one thing we did to keep a semblance of normality was “always the same little things in the same order and then the day can start”…

like eating breakfast…and finding ways to keep our spirits up.

Ate noodles for dinner and found TS Eliot thinking about home:

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated… …a lifetime burning in every moment…We must be still and still moving

So in the pursuit of stillness…

and birds flying north.

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Books, Life, sketchbook

The transformational power of a book

Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead was one such transformational force that changed my life when I read it in 2013.

Sometimes in your life you happen to read the right book at the right time. and when that happens, there is a transformation. Up until then in my career there was a lack of women role models…

…and therefore no awareness of possibilities for the working mother.

Through her stories I understood it’s possible to have a career and be a mother, that workplaces can provide support structures, and so can the people in your life.

And that’s how I stopped holding back and took on the opportunities coming my way. Hope, optimism and possibilities – that’s how Lean in inspired me at a crucial time at a moment in my life…and I leaned in towards discovery.

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sketchbook

In loving memory of the one and only Parsa

Some of you know our friend Parsa. Back in 2008 I had drawn a story for his birthday The one and only Parsa. On Tuesday 4th Feb, he passed away. He and I were flatmates in Ahmedabad back in 2001-2002 along with our other friends Reshmy and Rahul Das.

One night another friend Tuttu had come over. Suddenly –

Anyway, we found some water for him…

and that was that…

Another day…

Parsa: Nandisoo Look at me! I am the messiah!
Soo: Dude you slept with the window open again!

Another time –

Parsa: We’ll take you to the Oscar awards ceremony with us, Nandisoo…
Rahul Das: Yes, you’re sweet to us and help us and we will take you when we win…

Parsa was not like the rest of us. He had so much passion and so much drive. These last few months he gave us a lot of attention with his daily messages and sometime later I understood that was his way of showing love…

“You have immortalised me in time,” Parsa had commented when he read the other post. I wish that this could really do that ❤︎

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drawing, sketchbook

Letters to my future self

Looking back for the year-end post, this is what I discovered:

29 sketchbooks in 6 years! Not bad at all! And before 2014 I have about 98 more, shown here, over the years of 2002-2013.

I’m so proud of myself for persisting with keeping a drawing journal, despite challenges! When my son was born in 2015, I couldn’t draw for the first 2 years of being a parent…I also couldn’t draw when we got married and was jealous of the the brown boy‘s constant talent! And some other times I was just lazy….

It’s always such a struggle to make time for improving my drawing skills and the craft of storytelling through drawing.

(Drawing from 2015)

Like most hobbies there are few overlaps with my professional skills, but it’s the need for creation and expression that has persisted throughout. Some wise person once said it’s almost like you are the channel through which the expression manifests…and it sometimes does feel like that.

Drawing just after returning to work from maternity leave

As a creative individual this is the practice that has helped to hone my creative voice, and as a human being the journals have helped me make sense of daily life and the constant reinvention we go through over the years.

Here’s an excerpt from an older press story:

For Basu, journaling is a process of making life. She shared with us that through these “letters for her future self” she “often remember(s) forgotten wishes and goals or events” that shaped her. It’s delightful to stroll through the worries and victories of her daily life. One can trace the arc of the conversation the young designer has had with herself over the years and feel like a confidential encounter has taken place.

So here’s to more drawing, more feedback and commentary from friends and well-wishers who see me drawing in real life – and onwards to 2020!

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